SBC News BGC reports ‘highly impressive’ compliance stats in Serve Legal checks
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BGC reports ‘highly impressive’ compliance stats in Serve Legal checks

Members of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) have gained record compliance rates for age verification checks, according to leading industry auditor Serve Legal.

Independent figures, provided by Serve Legal, report that bookmakers boasted a 91.4% age verification pass rate, across thousands of annual checks. Meanwhile, casinos have a near-perfect pass rate of 98%.

This represents a 30% compliance increase across the audit volume since 2009, when Serve Legal began working with the regulated betting and gaming sector.

Wes Himes, Executive Director Standards and Innovation at BGC, shared that the organisation and its members are “incredibly proud” of these compliance rates.

“I am hugely grateful to Serve Legal for their work over the last 15 years, who have been instrumental in this change. Serve Legal, alongside our members and their dedicated staff, have led the charge in raising standards and setting a new benchmark for excellence,“ said Himes.”

Notably, regulated betting and gaming is now the leading sector in the UK for age verification compliance, better than supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol forecourts. Meanwhile, gaming is also delivering 10-15% higher compliance rates than the alcohol and lottery sectors annually.

Himes added: “Bookmakers and casinos play a vital economic role on the UK’s hard-pressed high streets, as well as in the leisure and tourism sector. But economic contribution has to go hand-in-hand with the highest standards.

“We are delivering that, which should be welcome news to customers and communities across the country. Our work to raise standards goes on, and I expect these compliance rates to continue improving across the land-based betting and gaming sector.”

Meanwhile, the BGC also stated that its members take a zero tolerance approach to underage betting and have significantly raised standards to protect young people.

The most popular forms of betting by children are legal arcade games like penny pusher and claw grab machines, bets between friends or family, and playing cards for money – not with BGC members.

The Council explained: “Our members enforce strict age verification on all their products to prevent underage gaming and will further strengthen age verification measures by increasing the checking age from “Think 21” to “Think 25” across betting shops and casinos. This policy will require anyone who is over 18 but looks under 25 to provide ID.”

The BGC also funds the £10m Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme, delivered by leading charities YGAM and GamCare, which has reached more than two million 11 to 19-year-olds, and those working with them, in the UK.

Serve Legal CEO, Ed Heaver, noted: “The Serve Legal team are incredibly proud of the work conducted by the BGC and their members. 

“Their impressive dedication and work ethic has paid off in some highly impressive statistics, showing the 30% compliance increase across the industry over the time that we have worked in the sector. We thank the BGC for pioneering their mission of customer safety alongside ours.”

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